When it comes to a convincing online presence, a well-developed website is essential. That’s why so many people hire professional web designers to handle this for them.
However, it is not enough to get it made and leave it alone. Without regular maintenance, issues will inevitably arise. These issues can affect your search engine optimization, preventing your website from reaching its full potential audience.
Think of your website as a beautiful new house. What would happen if you failed to conduct online repairs? In time, it would deteriorate, bringing its overall value down.
The right maintenance packages will keep your website operating at optimal performance levels: attracting more organic traffic through search engines and providing a better user experience to everyone who does click through to visit.
Read on to learn more about the connection between website maintenance and SEO.
Website maintenance and SEO Ranking
We all know how important search engine rankings are, but did you know that there is a strong correlation between the functionality of your website and where it appears on the results page?
Search engines are concerned with delivering the best overall experience to their users. People simply won’t use their search engine if it’s sending them to substandard sites with a slow load time. Therefore, it’s no surprise that website functionality would act as a key factor in determining rankings.
You might think content is all that matters when it comes to SEO strategy, but there’s little point in having valuable, relevant content on a slow and unfriendly website. Search engine algorithms will detect this deficiency. It’s also a turn-off for people who do visit your site. By all means write great blog posts, but make sure they’re published on a functioning website!
Search engines are constantly evolving to better evaluate the quality of the websites they index. In 2021, Google announced page experience signals such as load speeds as a new ranking factor.
This new system combines Core Web Vitals with pre-existing search signals — user-friendliness, HTTPS security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.
With CWV, website maintenance is critical to improving SEO rankings. If you make your website smoother to use, you’ll simultaneously increase its visibility and hopefully boost your conversion rates.
Maintenance is not a one-time thing
Maintenance has to be ongoing for it to be effective because a lot can go wrong if your website is not serviced on a regular basis.
Over time, your website will slow down and start to perform at a suboptimal level. Outdated plugins can cause issues, and an expired WordPress installation opens the door to security threats.
When your website doesn’t function effectively, this makes your online presence seem unprofessional. Think of how it looks if your site is full of broken links, for example. A neglected website gives a poor impression of your business.
The result? Potential customers will simply leave to look for superior service with dependable, fresh content. It follows that this will eventually hurt your conversions and affect your overall profitability.
When you think about all the opportunities that can be missed due to a slow website, the need to invest in professional ongoing website maintenance becomes evident. The monthly cost of a routine maintenance plan is undoubtedly worth it.
It’s recommended that you have your website checked by an expert at least once a month, but some website owners opt for weekly maintenance services as an especially protective preventative measure. This ensures no avoidable downtime arises.
Ongoing maintenance should be considered a non-negotiable for any organization or business owner that depends on a functional website.
The benefits of website maintenance
Some of the benefits you enjoy when you perform regular maintenance on your website include:
1. Improved security
A well-maintained website keeps hackers and bad bots away from your website through ongoing security updates. Maintenance plans usually include regular site, server, plugin and software updates. Security plugins and SSL certificates are designed to protect your website from bad actors.
Why is this important? Search engines like Google consider the security of websites as a priority when establishing search engine ranking, using a valid HTTPS certificate as a signal of safety.
Any breach in the security of your website is a red flag — literally. Google will display a red interstitial warning page in the browser if it determines that your site has been affected by a security issue like hacking or malware.
According to a survey by Hubspot, 82% of search engine users click out from websites that are not secure. That means even if you’re high in the search rankings, you may fail to convert your organic SEO traffic with an insecure site.
Regular website maintenance ensures security breaches are flagged in a timely manner and addressed appropriately. By improving the security of your website, you improve its SEO.
Website maintenance should be considered an integral element of your digital marketing strategy due to the role it plays in achieving common business goals.
2. It boosts organic search traffic
Google now prioritizes page performance as a ranking factor using a scoring method called Core Web Vitals. CWV scores performance, responsiveness, and visual stability.
Depending on the severity of the issues, failing CWV metrics can impact the visibility of your website in Google Search. Beyond that, improved CWV is good for usability so that anyone visiting your site has a positive experience.
In the words of John Mueller (the Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google):
“Core web vitals is … more than a random ranking factor; it’s also something that affects your site’s usability after it ranks (when people actually visit).
If you get more traffic (from other SEO efforts) and your conversion rate is low, that traffic is not going to be as useful as when you have a higher conversion rate (assuming UX/speed affects your conversion rate, which it usually does).
CWV is a great way of recognizing and quantifying common user annoyances.”
Think of it as a mutual relationship: a well-maintained website is better for users, and a website that’s better for users is also good for SEO.
Through regular website maintenance (checkups on at least a monthly basis) and performance enhancements, you’ll be able to keep tabs and improve your Core Web Vitals.Google is the biggest search engine by far, but it’s not the only one, and it’s not alone in using page experience as a ranking factor. According to the Bing Webmaster Guidelines, Bing also considers page speed when scoring sites for the results page.
3. Regular update and support
A comprehensive website maintenance plan gives you access to routine updates and support. It helps to have these systems in place if something goes wrong with your website, as you benefit from:
- Daily web server monitoring: Websites are susceptible to connection failures and server downtimes. If left unattended, this can affect the functionality of your website. A good website maintenance plan provides daily monitoring for your website server. When it’s time for domain name renewal, your web developer will let you know too!
- Offsite backup: It is hard to recover deleted and overwritten website files. Your best bet is to have an offsite backup for your files as an added layer of protection. Daily website backup is one of the perks of a website maintenance plan.
- Plugin updates: Plugins change over time. Having the latest versions ensures that they stay compatible with current versions of WordPress.
- Theme updates: Theme updates take advantage of the latest versions of WordPress and improved markup to keep your website performing at its full potential.
- WordPress core updates: The team at Automattic updates WordPress core annually with minor updates and security patches throughout the year. Staying up to date with these keeps bad actors from gaining access to your website.
Should you be doing your website maintenance?
Website maintenance is a complex and constantly evolving field, best navigated by experts who have made it their full time focus. When implemented wrongly, it has a counterproductive effect, increasing the risk of issues arising and creating an unreliable corporate image for your target audience.
Maintaining a website’s health requires a certain level of skill and knowledge. It’s also a time-consuming process that demands focus and attention to perform effectively. That’s why it’s in your best interest to outsource the job to experienced experts.
Benefits of outsourcing your website maintenance
Outsourcing your website maintenance to professionals is a wise decision for the following reasons:
1. It saves you time
Maintaining a website takes time, and time is of the essence when running a business or an organization. It’s more productive to give your time to the tasks that only you can do rather than waste it on halfhearted website maintenance when that is not your forte.
Overall, it’s generally sensible to let everyone do what they do best and hire a professional for these nuanced tasks.
2. It reduces cost
Without the requisite skill and expertise, you risk wreaking havoc on your website when you attempt amateur maintenance. Most times, it will cost you a lot more to fix these issues than it would have to prevent them from occurring!
Hiring a full-time web developer is one option, but the overhead costs can be prohibitive. Many people find that it’s more cost-effective to outsource instead so you can make the most of your maintenance budget.
3. It gives you access to top website professionals.
Outsourcing your website maintenance gives you access to the skills of experts who will dedicate themselves to keeping your website healthy. They usually have substantial experience managing other websites so you can count on them to do a great job on behalf of your business.
There are essential website maintenance costs associated with running a business or an organization. Thankfully, you’ll enjoy a significant return on investment when you use your maintenance budget to hire a professional.
Our website maintenance solutions
Once you’ve decided to seek expert web support, you have to choose from the many maintenance companies available. At Papaya Search, we take great care to backup your website, apply updates to improve its performance, and undertake regular checks to detect any issues at the earliest stage possible.
Our software keeps a record of every plugin we update. If there is an issue, we can quickly determine which plugin version was changed and revert it.
Also included in our monthly maintenance reports are performance and security scans. If we ever catch a plugin issue, it becomes a support ticket, and we address it before you ever know there’s a problem. You enjoy complete peace of mind knowing we have your website under control.
Naturally, we also conduct security monitoring, visual checks, and daily backups to keep your website secured at all times. Whenever someone visits your website, you can be sure that they’ll have a smooth experience. This high level of functionality will be reflected in your website’s SEO, too. You can expect to gradually ascend the rankings.
You don’t have to do this alone
Website maintenance is key to a successful website. You can choose to do it yourself (and risk damaging your website) or you can outsource the service to specialist maintenance companies. Believe it or not, this is likely to save you money in the long run.
At Papaya Search, we dedicate our time and expertise to ensure that your website is not only maintained and secured but also performing at its fullest potential. To achieve this, we apply years of experience, extensive knowledge, and the most up-to-date strategies.
Now that you know the advantages of a well-maintained website, we’d be delighted to look at yours and develop a custom plan to suit its specific needs. Don’t let a slow site stop you from making a sale or achieving SEO success.